As a content creator and as a person who has done multiple websites both mine and for clients, I prefer the use of page builders such as Elementor. Though it is faster than code, it is slower and difficult compared to other website builders.
Website builders give you the freedom of writing just text and get it turned into a fully functional website. It is as easy as answering questions to give the system your website requirements and they are turned into a website. That’s how easy website builders are.
But what is a website builder?
A website builder is a platform that lets you quickly create a website by just filling forms and answering questions. Some website builders offer template forms that you can use to easily create a website. Website builders are the easiest and fastest way of creating functional websites by just drag-and-drop.
What are the best website builders?
Finding the best website builders can be a hard time especially when you are new in the website industry. You shouldn’t spend much time going through page builders as I have already done that for you.
I checked, tested many popular website builders, and made short reviews on each, their best features plus pros and cons.
I also included demo websites that I roughly created using those website builders.
On the Wix website, you will be welcomed by a big ”Create a website You are Proud of”. On pressing the button next to it, which reads Get started, you will be taken to a form where you fill in details about your website.
It is so freaking easy! just choosing options and answering questions. You will then be given templates to choose from to start your website. You can also choose from specific categories. From the template, you will be able to edit and fit in your information.
From my experience, in just fifteen minutes or less, you will have been able to make a fully functional and good-looking website.
Wix combines simple drag-and-drop editing tools with other range of features that let you make a website. It has a free plan and eight premium plans starting at $13 per month. From over 500 templates you will have a wide range to choose from. However, you should be careful with the choice of your template as you won’t be able to change it after your website goes live.
From Wix, you can hire a professional if you need expert touch on your website.
The pricing on the plans that offer great features is high. The loading speed on the other side is not so amazing and the templates can’t be easily changed.
Wix does not also favor the creation of large websites say with 30+ pages.
There is a free plan that will give you a Wix domain and will get your site live. For a website without E-commerce, the pricing starts at $4 up to $24 per month.
For an e-commerce or business website that accepts online payments, it starts at $17 to $35 per month.
Demo website I built with Wix https://dantecyrus2.wixsite.com/website
Besides its hosting and domain registration, GoDaddy also has a free website builder.
To get started, you need to create an account with them. You will be given a page where you have to choose a category and the name of your website.
From the category you chose, your website will be created with a lot of features such as a shop and others. You will be able to edit the pages, change themes, and add products to your website.
What I liked about the GoDaddy website builder is that it offers more features on the website that would have required the use of plugins to have. With this website builder, your website will be fully functional as a lot of features are added to the website.
GoDaddy has a few templates to choose from making designing limited.
GoDaddy has a free plan that offers free hosting and domain. However, the free domain has a GoDaddy extension and GoDaddy ads are also placed on the website.
To Upgrade and be able to connect to a custom domain, the prices range from £4.89 to £13.99 per month which is billed yearly.
Demo website: https://biggestpuppy.godaddysites.com
On trying out Squarespace to get started, I started answering some questions and choosing options. Next was a page that had templates from which I could choose from.
The templates were a bit boring though but after looking through many of them, I chose one that appeased me.
Filled in the basics like site name and ‘’bam’’ I had a user panel where I could choose which pages I wanted to feature on my site.
Next was designing and entering website details. It is not straight forward but it is not so hard to get around it. You also have the option of entering custom CSS in your design to make it better. It took quite a long time compared to the designing with Wix.
Not so straight forward and requires a bit more work to get your website set up. It doesn’t offer a beginner interface.
The page speed is also not amazing as it takes longer to load.
For the start, you are given a 14-day free trial.
Plans start at $12 to $40 per month.
It requires a lot of signing in but it is worth it. Duda has great templates to choose from. From over 90 templates that cover many industries and businesses, you will have a wide range of options to choose from.
From the template the interface is super amazing, masking out all the sections making them editable. Duda has creative control with a lot of widgets and sections that you can add to your design to make an epic website.
Besides being creative, Duda is simple, user-friendly, and beginner-friendly too. You can also switch the view from desktop, tablet, and mobile to make designing much simpler.
A lot of many third parties can also be added to the website straight from the dashboard.
The builder is expensive starting at $14 and that’s for just one site. Even when you chose the next plan it still offers designing one website with additional websites going for $9.75 per month.
Even when you choose to purchase their biggest plan, it will only offer 4 sites.
Duda offers a 14-day trial.
The price starts from $14 to $44 per month.
Demo website: https://biggest-puppy.multiscreensite.com/
5. Site 123
With a simple landing page, all the focus is turned on the button that says start here. You get to choose from four options which are website, online store, blog, and landing page.
You will be given a basic homepage to start with the option of adding more pages. You will be able to edit the text and images of your website. After the design, your website can go live with a free domain and you can add your own domain name.
It lacks a visual drag-and-drop editor. This makes precise designing limited and boring.
Not so user-friendly. It features an old layout and editor with plenty of templates to choose from.
Site123 has a free plan with a given domain.
A basic plan that features a free domain for a year and other features starts at $4.68 up to $15.48.
Demo website: https://5f91f1883e56a.site123.me/
HostGator has a website builder that isn’t free and comes along with its $3.84 per month plan.
it has a well-designed, clear interface that gives you a clean website start. The builder offers modern and pretty site templates that you can start with.
It is not entirely linked to HostGator and in fact, it requires a different login from that of HostGator.
There is no free plan with this website builder and may not easily be accessed if you aren’t hosting with them. It also offers limited features and lacks photo editing, email marketing with a limited app store.
The prices range from $3.46 to $8.30 per month.
To start with, you will be asked to create an account with them. You will then be given plenty of templates to choose from. The templates were great and I got a hard time choosing from the many cute templates to get my website started. Since I am a dog person, I didn’t think further when I saw a template with a dog and a template named buddy.
Next, I was taken to a page where I had to fix my website information into the chosen template. The design is not complex as you are offered a visual editor to get the website ready. On editing, you can choose from different layouts on the website directly which makes things quite simpler.
Adding images to the website is also easy, as well as moving sections around. The user panel is also not difficult to get along with. It has plenty of features such as analytics, settings, and other features.
There is a publish button that gets your website live. You also get the option of connecting your domain to the website or registering a new domain.
I was only given the option of building sections rather than different pages. That is why I got all the About Us, Contact, and other sections that would have been different pages on the homepage instead.
The option of creating one-page websites makes websites ugly and non-professional.
Strikingly has a free plan that gives you a free domain and hosting. However, the free plan has the Strikingly.com domain and limited features.
The pricing with Strikingly gets cheaper with more duration chosen.
At a monthly subscription, you $20 per month for the pro and $12 for the limited plan.
When you choose the yearly plan, you start from $8 to $49 per month.
With 5 years, their Pro plan is at $11.20 per month and the VIP at $34.40 per month.
Read more on the prices here
Demo website: https://biggestpuppy.mystrikingly.com/
Blogger is used by many starters to create blogs or informative websites. With blogger, you can create a beautiful blog that displays your blog posts or articles in a cute way. It is quite popular as it is easy to start up and navigate.
On opening blogger.com, you’re given a bright button to get you started. Blogger is from google and will use your Google account to get set up. On registering, you will be given a user panel with straight forward features. You should select a theme from a list of many themes. You can customize the theme with colors and gadgets to match your style.
There is not so much customization and you will not be given a drag-and-drop builder. It is mainly for blog posts or articles.
No much can be done with Blogger; you also don’t get a chance to create pages.
The customization is pretty boring and limited.
Blogger is entirely free.
Demo website: https://cyrusdante.blogspot.com/
When you open WordPress.com, you are welcomed by a button that says ”start your website”.
You will be asked to create an account, choose a domain and your blog will be created.
Since this is a demo website, I chose their free plan.
You will be able to change themes or layouts as WordPress calls it.
It also has a drag-and-drop-like builder that lets you edit sections, change images, and delete sections you don’t need.
To install plugins and make your website much better, you need to upgrade to a premium plan.
The free version has very limited features. Upgrading is very expensive compared to others. Templates are designed for blogging and the interface is not user-friendly especially to beginners.
You might need some basic coding such as CSS knowledge to get around things quite easily.
Worpress.com has a free plan with options for upgrading to premium plans for more features.
Premium plans start at $4 to$8 per month and are billed annually.
Demo website: https://biggestpuppy759849097.wordpress.com/
Are website builders worth it?
Website builders have a lot of pros and cons this makes choosing the best website builder complicated.
Let us start with the pros.
- Website builders don’t need extensive coding knowledge. Although some website builders will require knowledge of CSS to customize elements, even without CSS, you will be able to get a website set.
- They are quite quick and within minutes, you can have your website live. This saves you precious time.
- Website builders can be money-saving since you will not need web designers or developers who might charge you a lot of money.
- With lots of choices in terms of templates, layouts, and elements, creating a unique website can also be quite easy.
- You also don’t need to be a genius at graphics design to get images onto your website. With mere drag and drop, images can be dropped where they belong and the builder fits them according to the containers that hold them.
Cons of website builders.
- Website builders have limited pages or functionalities which makes your website not user friendly especially when you lack essential pages.
- Website builders can be expensive as they charge a lot of money per month. Yeah, that’s right, many charges monthly, or you literally not charged but offered high hosting charges which would have been less when you are hosting from different providers.
- They may limit more experienced developers as they give straight forward features with limited options.
- Websites built with website designers usually have a slow loading time.
- They also tend to experience poor SEO due to some messy codes and third-party plugins that may be present on the website built with website builders.
- Most website builders make websites with flash and the downside is search engines can’t read flash-built websites.
- Since website builders offer the same templates, you might find out that many websites have the exact same design as you do.
Are website builders worth it? I will leave that to you,
Website builders vs Page builder
The alternative to website builders is page builders. While a website builder builds the whole website, a page builder features a drag-and-drop that can be used to create an individual page. If you have ever come across Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Divi, you know exactly what I mean.
The creation of websites between the two is quite different; for most of the website builders, the creation of a website is automated. But when using a page builder, you do most of the work.
It is a drag-and-drop procedure. You also have to create a page to page, unlike website builders that can create the whole pages for you.
They both feature templates that you can choose from to make designing easier so that you don’t start from scratch.
Which one is the best? both are excellent at doing their work. People who prefer dominance and more ownership over their site use page builders and those that prefer the ease and faster way of getting a website done, use website builders.
The bottom line.
The website builders I tested above are great and will get you amazing works.
My favorite ones were
GoDaddy builder: great and easy to use interface makes designing easy.
Wix: for the lazy guy, most of the work is done for me even filling in some cute texts to accompany my website.
Duda: great design, interface, and templates.
Blogger: so centered on blogging giving you fewer and fewer options to customize your website.
WordPress: difficult to go around with and I found it expensive when upgrading is needed.